Vietnamese Anthem Muted on YouTube Stream: What Foreign Ministry Says?

The spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang on Dec. 9 stated it was illegal to prevent the performance of the Vietnamese national anthem.

During the Vietnam-Laos opening match of the AFF Cup 2020 broadcast live on the YouTube platform, the Vietnamese National Anthem was muted during the Vietnamese team's flag salute on Dec. 6.

An explanatory message in Vietnamese was shown on the Next Sports channel screen: “For the reason of music copyright, we are obliged to mute the sound at the flag salutation ceremony. Upon the end of the ritual, the sound will be resumed. Your understanding is appreciated.”

After the match, a screenshot of the muted performance of the Vietnamese national anthem was spread by fans on social media. Thousands of people left comments, expressing surprise and shock at the soundless performance.

Vietnamese Anthem Muted on YouTube Stream: What Foreign Ministry Says?
Screenshot saying the national anthem was muted due to copyrights in a recent football match. (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

Media company blamed for copyrights

Many people blamed BH Media Corp for the incident as this company was previously accused of claiming copyright on a recorded version of the National Anthem by late composer Van Cao. However, talking to the Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper, a representative of BH Media has released a notice rejecting any involvement.

According to BH Media, the reason for muting the National Anthem during the match was because Next Sports was afraid that the performance of the song would infringe copyright, which would affect revenue while broadcasting the match on YouTube. "Videos of matches from other countries on Next Media's YouTube channel are also muted to avoid infringing on music copyright," a BH Media representative said.

Vietnamese Anthem Muted on YouTube Stream: What Foreign Ministry Says?
Vietnam's national anthem. (Photo: VTV)

According to an official of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), the Vietnamese National Anthem that was used at the AFF Cup 2020 was taken from the homepage of the Asian Football Confederation by the Organising Committee. This recording was provided by VFF after applying for permission and taken from the Government Portal. A senior leader of the VFF said that they were investigating the process of using the National Anthem at the AFF Cup.

In the immediate future, they will send a new official recording of the National Anthem to the AFF Cup 2020 Organising Committee so the problem can be resolved. Previously, at the AFC U-23 Asian Cup, a match of the U23 Vietnam team also had a similar problem, causing frustration in the fan community.

Next Sports, the copyright holder of the AFF Cup 2020 and the YouTube channel that broadcasts the tournament live in Vietnam, has announced that the Vietnamese anthem will be played during the national team's subsequent matches, instead of being muted like against Laos on Dec. 6.

The announcement was made following the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's statement which says that the Vietnamese law prohibits individuals and organizations from preventing the dissemination of the National Anthem, reported e-newspaper Vietnamplus.

The ministry is responsible for carrying out the role of State management and shall take the necessary steps to maintain and promote the value of the anthem. Vietnamese law prohibits any organization or individual, in any form, from preventing or obstructing the performance of the anthem directly or indirectly (including online).

Vietnamese Anthem Muted on YouTube Stream: What Foreign Ministry Says?
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang. (Photo: Lao Dong)

State's opinion: Any action to obstruct or prevent performance of Vietnamese national anthem deemed illegal

According to VNA, leaders of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism had worked with related agencies on the incident. The ministry reiterated that Vietnamese law prohibits any organization or individual, in any form, from preventing or obstructing the performance of the anthem directly or indirectly (including online).

Regarding the issue, the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang on Dec. 9 stated it was illegal to prevent the performance of the Vietnamese national anthem. She made the affirmation when commenting on the incident when the Vietnamese national anthem was muted on the YouTube platform during the live broadcast of the flag-raising ceremony before a football match between Vietnam and Laos on Dec. 6 within the framework of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 taking place in Singapore.

At the ministry’s virtual press conference on Dec. 9, Hang noted that the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, as the agency responsible for performing state management functions, must take necessary measures to preserve and promote the value of the national anthem. All individuals and organizations are not allowed to take any action to prevent the dissemination of the Vietnamese national anthem, the spokeswoman stated.

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